Benny and the Jets
by BMS on 12/14/11 at 12:09 PM ET
Despite being down a few forwards due to injury, the Winnipeg Jets looked impressive against the league-leading Minnesota Wild Tuesday night, squeaking out a 2-1 win in a real thriller. Zach Bogosian scored his first goal to tie the game before Bryan Little extended his goal streak to four games off a savvy pass by Dustin Byfuglien to net the winner.
It was as though the 7-1 drubbing in Detroit had never happened. Instead, the team picked up where they left off against the mighty Boston Bruins, bringing strong offense and a more responsible defensive game. Ondrej Pavelec played lights-out, stopping 34 of 35 shots including a beauty old-school two pad stack save on Pierre-Marc Bouchard:
Niklas Backstrom was razor-sharp in nets for the Minnesota Wild as well, but Pavelec continues to show he can steal games for the Jets when needed, especially at home. The Jets are 10-4-0 at home, numbers that stand in stark contrast to their 4-8-4 road record. It goes to show that playing in front of 15,000+ raucous Jets fans at the MTS Centre really does take the Jets’ on-ice play to another level. The crowd was especially loud last night
The Jets’ top two lines were leaned on quite a bit by head coach Claude Noel, with Nik Antropov and Alexander Burmistrov both out of the lineup. Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little and Evander Kane all played over 21 minutes, Andrew Ladd wasn’t a difference-maker in the 16+ minutes he played tonight, and Eric Fehr’s little ice time wasn’t notable in any way. Meanwhile, defenseman Ron Hainsey logged over 22 minutes in his first game back in a while.
I haven’t had a chance to watch the Wild much this year, but I know they’re stingy when it comes to giving up goals, so I figured this could be a bit of a dull game. Nothing could be further from the truth - in fact, it might have been the best game I’ve seen played at the MTS Centre this year. This was a tight game, with great pace, many end-to-end rushes by both teams and some fantastic goaltending.
Oh… oh yeah. The league will likely take a look at this hit by Zach Bogosian on Pierre-Marc Bouchard in the final minutes of the game:
It’s not a great hit for sure; Bouchard was turning, so it’s a tough to say whether there’ll be any discipline beyond than the five-minute penalty called on the ice.
Update: As per Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, it doesn’t sound as though the NHL is looking any further into the Bogosian hit.
The Jets play Washington Thursday, who will likely be reeling from a 5-1 beatdown by the Philadelphia Flyers. We’ll see if the Jets can, ahem, capitalize. Then, of course, it’s the day so many have been waiting for - the return of Teemu Selanne to Winnipeg.
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About Benny and the Jets
Fifteen years ago, Ben's beloved Winnipeg Jets left town. He begrudgingly turned to the Montreal Canadiens for comfort and found none, and is now struggling to find a place in his heart for the Winnipeg Jets v2.0.
Ben is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer that writes a lot about wine and beer. Expect his son to be drafted into the NHL in 2025.